March for Life. Today is the public inauguration of President Obama for a second term. Most of the Sunday news programs ran previews of the event, but most of them also said it was mostly a non-event. Today’s crowds will likely be less than half the size of those four years ago. Most presidential historians say second-term inaugural speeches are generally uneventful. The exception being Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural, delivered just days before the end of the Civil War. The current president is, of course no Lincoln. For one thing, on the matter of slavery, the dominant issue of his era, Lincoln was on the right side of history. Obama, on the other hand, has been full-throated in his support for abortion. That will put him on the wrong side of history on what historians will one day say was the dominant issue of our era. It is interesting and ironic that while the inauguration (and a celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday) takes place at the beginning of this week, the March for Life takes place at the end of the week. Because Dr. King died in 1968, and Roe v. Wade was not decided until 1973, many 1960s-era activists did not comment on abortion. But Dr. King’s niece Alveda, a pro-life activist, maintains that her uncle was pro-life. It’s easy to imagine that if Dr. King were alive today he might be attending both Monday’s and Friday’s events.
Dancing around the truth. The Sundance Film Festival is underway in Park City, Utah. The festival has always had a decidedly liberal and often anti-Christian bias. This year’s festival keeps the record intact with the presentation of God Loves Uganda. Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams directs this documentary that says it shows the relationship between American evangelical churches, their missionaries, and anti-gay laws in Africa like Uganda’s so-called “Kill the Gays” bill. Early reviews from those there (the film is not in wide release) say it focuses too much on fringe Christian groups, such as Kansas City’s controversial International House of Prayer, while ignoring more nuanced American evangelical views. Nothing new there, I guess.
North Korean Christians killed. The Christian ministry Open Doors International on Friday confirmed the deaths of two Christians in North Korea. Open Doors said one Christian was recently shot while he was on his way back to Bible training in China. The other died in one of North Korea’s labor camps. Open Doors did not release much specific information about these cases for fear that specific details would endanger others in Christian work in North Korea, which has become one of the most brutally anti-Christian countries on the planet.
Celebrating dog ownership, one funeral at a time. I’ve commented before in this space how Americans have turned pets into idols. WORLD’s Susan Olasky wrote an article on this a few months ago. What neither of us focused on then was how frequently pets contribute to the deaths of their owners. Consider, for example, this: The Florida Highway Patrol says Iris Fortner, 56, and James Campbell, 68, were backing into their driveway at their home when Campbell got out of the passenger side to open a metal gate. Fortner opened the driver’s door to see where Campbell was standing. That’s when Fortner’s large boxer bulldog jumped into the car and landed on the gas pedal. The van roared backward and trapped Campbell under the van. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene. Back in November, a family dog playing in the surf in near San Francisco appeared to be in trouble, so the dog’s 16-year-old owner jumped in frigid waters to retrieve the pet. The boy quickly succumbed to the cold, rough water, so his parents jumped in to save him. All three perished. Maybe it’s just because I’ve started looking, but these sorts of stories appear with distressing frequency.